Mar 7, 2016 7:37 PM by News Staff
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday that he won't run for president, ending months of speculation he would be a third-party candidate.
"When I look at the data, it’s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win," the billionaire wrote in BloombergView, a news agency Bloomberg owns.
He said that while he believes he could win some states in November, he would not reach the 270 votes in the electoral college needed to win the general election, and said his candidacy could allow Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz to take the White House.
"That is not a risk I can take in good conscience," he wrote in an article that decried the rise of extremism in American politics.
Bloomberg, a centrist who served as mayor of the country's biggest city for three terms, told the Financial Times in February that he was "looking at all the options" for a White House bid.
He had set himself a March deadline on deciding on whether to run, so he would have time to meet requirements for getting on the ballot.
Bloomberg on Monday outlined a dire political siuation in the U.S., blaming Democratic and Republican candidates for attacking policies that spur growth and for "offering scapegoats instead of solutions."
He singled out Trump more than any other candidate. Noting that the pair of New York billionaires have been on friendly terms for years, Bloomberg said Trump's demagogic campaign is appealing to the nation's worst impulses.
"We cannot 'make America great again' by turning our backs on the values that made us the world’s greatest nation in the first place," Bloomberg said.
He did not endorse a candidate in his article, nor did he mention the other candidates still in the race: Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Marco Rubio or Gov. John Kasich.
Bloomberg had indicated he had $1 billion of his own money to spend on his campaign.
Those close to the process said Bloomberg had believed the dominance of Trump among Republicans and the rise of Sanders amid Democrats had opened a centrist lane for a non-ideological, pragmatic campaign. But Clinton's string of recent victories has given her a firm grip on the lead for the Democratic nomination and is blocking Bloomberg's possible path, aides to the mayor told The Associated Press.
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